Recently, my fellow Savin’ Maven Amy Grothaus completed her first full marathon. I’m proud of her commitment but I admit I had no idea how much it costs just to ‘run outside.’ For example, good running shoes can easily cost more than $100. And that’s just the shoes! This week, I’m taking some inspiration from Amy and sharing some tips for how to budget for your next race.
Care About What You Wear
Running is one of the most cost-effective exercise regimens available. Basically, all you need is time, space and a pair of running shoes. However, if you’re really serious about your training, you’ll want to invest in some gear while you’re improving your times and your health.
Quality running shoes are the most important, obviously. Many specialty stores, and some retail sporting stores, have people on staff uniquely qualified to measure your feet, gait and running style in order to customize your shoes. From my understanding, the right shoes are worth the investment, even if you are replacing them every 500 miles. http://www.runnersworld.com/start-walking/how-to-buy-running-shoes
No matter what season you take up running, you’ll also want some tops and shorts made for the elements. Materials that wick sweat away from the skin will make you feel cooler in the summer. Cold-guarding compression pants will allow you to keep your pace in the winter. For ladies, a good, well-fitted sports bra can make all the difference, too.
Going the Extra Mile
Speaking of the weather, sometimes it’s just not plausible to run in 100-degree weather or pounding rain, or while trying to navigate icy patches of snow. A gym membership may be worth the money. https://www.finovera.com/blog/gyms-overrated-pros-cons-memberships/
Some things you’ll want to consider before signing up are the extra fees and the distance from your home or office. Some gyms provide childcare while you work out but you’ll need to pay a little extra for a family membership. Try to list out the pros and cons before you sign any paperwork.
Another cost to consider is the extra gear some runners like to have, such as wireless headphones, fitness armbands or even apps that record your time spent and distance. If you’re thinking of a long marathon, you’ll also need supplements (“chews, goos or powders”) to keep you healthy. http://running.competitor.com/2013/10/nutrition/7-nutritional-supplements-that-arent-a-total-waste-of-money_29434. These little extras can either be expenses that add up quickly or just the motivation you need to stay on track. Talk to other runners or read as many reviews as you can before you buy.
Lastly, and this all depends on your running goals, you’ll want to budget for entrance fees. Fun runs, 10Ks and full marathons will all vary in cost, but you can typically expect to pay more for longer and destination races.
Plan Your Course
When I sat down and thought about it, it occurred to me that training for a big race isn’t much different from creating a budget for a big purchase. For instance, you have to make some fairly large changes to your lifestyle. http://www.divinecaroline.com/life-etc/career-money/budgeting-lessons-marathon. You count down to the smallest increments, be it pennies or calories. You’re making sacrifices to reach your goal. So remember, as you save and as you run, take it one step at a time.
Kat's Money Corner is posted on Dollars & Sense every Tuesday. Kat Hnatyshyn, when not blogging or caring for her little ones, is a manager with CommunityAmerica Credit Union. For more financial chatter, click http://twitter.com/savinmavens.